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Gluten Free in Japan

The Land of The Rising Sun. Japan is known of the bustling streets of Tokyo and the iconic views of Mount Fuji. However, where can you eat Gluten Free when travelling across the country? Find previous recommendations here and do share your own as well.

Click on one of the more popular locations or search for where you want to go or what you want to eat. Alternatively, use our Map to find all Gluten Free locations near you!

Little Bird Cafe
Shibuya, Tokyo View On Map
Want to go to a restaurant where everything is gluten free and you don't have to bother with cumbersome allergy cards? Check out Little Bird Cafe in Shibuya, Tokyo!
They have a wide range of traditional Japanese foods and also other food options such as burgers, pizza, and delicious dessert waffles. I had gyoza, yakisoba, and a chocolate banana waffle for dessert. I was so excited to be able to try gyoza
Little Bird Cafe is located in Shibuya, Tokyo. It's about a 25 minute walk from Shibuya station, unless you get a little lost like we did. The restaurant is hidden up a stairwell on the second floor, but isn't too hard to find. The restaurant is open most days from 12PM-9PM but check their facebook/Instagram first before making the trek just in case they are closed for a holiday or something. While we were in Japan we found that many restaurants had regular scheduled hours but would randomly be closed (for no obvious reason that we could figure out). So that was something we started checking ahead of time online!
Little Bird Cafe is a small restaurant with seating for approximately 15 people. Show up early so you can get a seat. The size of the restaurant makes for a cozy environment and it has a fun, hippy kind of feel to it with greenery everywhere. This restaurant is a gluten free haven. If you want to go to a restaurant where you can sit back and not worry at all about cross contamination and fumbling with your allergy card, go here! The food was good and having the opportunity to try traditional Japanese dishes was awesome. I would definitely go back!
Recommended By: @RandWander / randrwander.com On: 2018-10-27

Art Cafe Elk
Peace Park, Hiroshima View On Map
This is a restaurant we went to twice while in Hiroshima - once for dinner and once for brunch. First of all, the location is great. It is located at the end of a mall close to the Atomic Bomb Dome
The atmosphere of Art Cafe Elk is a bit hippy, earthy, and laid back. The service was good and the staff all seemed to understand gluten free very well. There are also vegan options so this restaurant caters to a few different dietary needs.
Not everything on the menu is gluten free so make sure you check in with the staff who will show you what is safe. For dinner I had the Japanese platter set which came with miso soup, rice balls, karaage (Japanese fried chicken), and vegetables. The meal left me comfortable but not stuffed. The food was quite good and I really enjoyed the chicken and the chance to have miso soup while in Japan.
The great part about not being stuffed was that I had room for dessert! Art Cafe ELK serves gluten free pancakes which are quite tasty. They have a variety of options to accompany your pancake such as strawberries, banana and chocolate, and maple syrup. For dessert I chose the banana and chocolate. They were so good I came back on our last day in Hiroshima for brunch so I could have some more - this time I opted for the maple syrup which was my favorite.
I would definitely recommend making a stop at Art Cafe ELK if you're in Hiroshima. It's another great opportunity to try traditional Japanese food safely. If I went back I would definitely have to try the rice flour tempura as that sounded quite tasty!
Recommended By: @RandWander / randrwander.com On: 2018-10-27

Higashiyama, Kyoto View On Map
I had read a few reviews about CHOICE restaurant before our trip and knew I wanted to check it out (gluten and dairy free cheesecake? Yes please!). It's a great place to check out if you're visiting Nishiki Market as it's only about a 15 min walk from there and it's also super close to Sanjo station (also a few minute walk) if you need to use transit. Once you get there it is well marked and advertises their very gluten free and vegan menu!
Our initial visit was just for dessert. I ordered the cheesecake and the rice milk ice cream and split them. The cheesecake seemed to be plain flavored but had green coloring swirled across the top which I'm assuming was matcha. Although it was really quite good, I think I make a better homemade gluten and dairy free cheesecake. It was really nice to be able to eat something like this in a restaurant though as that is not a luxury you find in many places! The ice cream was actually my favorite. It was soft serve and came in a dish filled with gluten free corn flakes. I really enjoyed it!
The second visit to CHOICE was for breakfast. Gluten free pancakes were on the menu and it was a nice change from onigiri (although I do love onigiri!). I enjoyed CHOICE's pancakes, but have to say they weren't as good as the ones I had in Hiroshima. It's not that their pancakes were bad or anything, it's just that they tasted...too healthy?
Would I recommend CHOICE? I definitely would tell you to go and try their desserts and to take a muffin with you to-go. Also, if you are vegan, they have a pretty decent sized meal menu and cheese selection. It's a more pricey restaurant then seen elsewhere on our trip so be prepared for that. I really did like the environment of the restaurant and could see myself going back there to get a hot drink and read if we had more time.
Recommended By: @RandWander / randrwander.com On: 2018-10-27